Last week, I had the privilege of attending a two and a half day workshop on digital storytelling at Digital Pedagogy Lab Toronto.
My motivation for attending was first to get a chance to meet the amazing Helen DeWaard – a friend who I have worked with online for years but had not yet had a chance to meet face-to-face. It was awesome to share several meals with her, and to see that she is just as amazing in-person as she is online. I also had a chance to spend some time with Giulia Forsythe and to meet many new amazing people.
I’ve also been interested in digital storytelling since I went to Digital Pedagogy Lab in Fredericksburg. There, I met the amazing Lora Taub and Jenna Azar whom I later invited to speak to my online class about digital storytelling. That session had a huge impact on me. I realized that I could use digital storytelling as a way to share my dissertation results. Segments of my personal story bring the results to life.
When I saw the digital storytelling was a course option, I jumped on it. This was to be my chance to learn how to do this right. I already had some basic video editing skills, I just needed to learn how to tell a good digital story.
Another reason I wanted to take the course was that I’ll be teaching digital storytelling in a grad elective that I’m teaching this summer. The course is about professional online presence (i.e. ePortfolio creation). I figured that digital storytelling is a great way for my students to tell the audience who they are – in a way that is unique to them. My theory is that it will help create interest in the ePortfolio.
I cannot say that I learned anything specific during the workshop – except that it gave me confidence in my process and what I am teaching. I had to document my creation process for my students this semester – as I’m teaching a course on creating a multimedia project. It was affirming to hear that the process followed by others aligns with the process that I follow.
My biggest questions coming out of the workshop are, what are the leading questions that I can use to help inspire learners to write the story? So far, I have:
- What emotion do you want to convey?
- What insight do you want to provide to your audience?
These questions were not too difficult for me in the context of my dissertation, but I’ve been working on that for a long time. I don’t feel like I have enough leading questions for teaching my students how to come up with a good story to tell.
What questions would you use to help someone create a story about themselves?